This project aims to improve understanding of the Tasman Fracture Marine Park and its importance for rare, threatened, and endangered species, as well as its ecosystem health, cultural, and heritage values. This information will be used to inform park management and support the sustainable use of the park.
The Tasman Fracture Marine Park is located in the shelf waters of the South-East Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network and is adjacent to the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The park is important for rare, threatened, and endangered species, including seabirds, seals, and cetaceans.
However, there is currently a lack of information about the midwater and surface biodiversity, cultural, and heritage values within and surrounding the park. This project aims to address this knowledge gap by incorporating a multifaceted approach.
1. To improve the understanding of ecosystem health within and around the marine park
The project will quantify the physical water properties of shelf waters in the park and map the extent and spatial distribution of mesopelagic productivity using acoustics equipment. This information will be shared with the commercial fishing sector through CSIRO to provide a better understanding of the key drivers of productivity in shelf waters of the region.
2. To improve the capacity of regional and Indigenous communities to support the ongoing management of the park.
The project will work with Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania, Natural Resources and Enivorment Tasmania working on Country and Sea Country Rangers to deliver data on culturally significant species, provide opportunities for engagement and participation, and facilitate direct involvement through training opportunities.
3. To develop tourism operator capability to deliver high-quality and environmentally appropriate experiences
The project will provide information on the optimal times and locations for controlled interactions with seabirds and marine mammals and will include communication products, such as imagery and acoustic recordings, for future operators to access.